What went wrong with the 2020 Yankees?(from a Yankees fans’ perspective)


Oscar Hayes, Contributing Writer

December 18th, 2019. The top free agent, Gerrit Cole, signs a record breaking 9 year, 324 million dollar deal with the Yankees. Cole filled the big hole in the Yankees roster. With a star studded lineup and now a Cy young pitcher in Cole, this team seemed unstoppable. Yankee fans, including me, were extremely optimistic and thought that this team was almost guaranteed to play in the World Series. Of course, we now know that didn’t happen. What went wrong?

Just in case you don’t know what happened during the Yankees shortened(60 game) 2020 season I will give a quick recap. They did not exceed expectations and ended up with a 33-27 record. In the playoffs they lost in the second round to the Tampa Bay Rays (who would end up losing in the World Series). It was not the championship season Yankee fans were expecting. 

  InconsistencyA metaphor I would use to describe the Yankees season is a mountain range. Or  waves in an ocean. In simple terms, it goes up and down and up and down. Sometimes the Yankees win by 15 runs, and sometimes they lose by 15 runs. In other words, they are inconsistent. Some days the offense looks explosive and then other days it feels like they can’t even get the ball in play, as demonstrated in the playoffs. How do you go from destroying a Cy Young pitcher in Shane Bieber to only being able to score one run against the Rays Bullpen? Yes, the Rays do have a fantastic bullpen, but with what we have seen this offense do, the Yankees offense has to be better than that. If the Yankees want a successful 2021 season they have to always be climbing up that mountain. 

Is Boone the problem? Questionable decisions

Boone made some questionable decisions during the playoffs and it made Yankee fans question if they really wanted him to be the Yankees Manager for the long run. So let’s go over some decisions:

  1. Deivi Garcia “opener” strategy: As a rookie Deivi Garcia has been having a pretty good year. He is 3-2 with a 4.23 ERA and 33 strikeouts through 33.1 innings. Those stats are pretty good for a rookie and good enough for the Yankees to keep for at least the next few years. However, when Boone announced that Garcia would be starting Game 2 against the Rays everyone was surprised, but excited. They wanted to see what this young guy could do under the bright lights! He ended up only pitching one inning. The next inning Boone put in J.A Happ. Happ then let up 4 runs and the Yankees lost 7-5. This opener strategy didn’t make a lot of sense to Yankee fans. Yes, Garcia did give up a run in the 1st, but it seemed that it was not enough to take him out immediately. Additionally, Happ had been struggling lately, so many Yankees fans questioned why Boone would trust that he would pitch well against a strong Rays lineup.  The decision angered Yankee fans all over NY. 
  2. Pinch-hitting Ford in Game 5: In game 5 of the ALDS Aaron Boone pinch hit the struggling Mike Ford in for Gary Sanchez. This was at a critical point in the game. The Yankees desperately needed a run if they wanted to stay in the game. Now I have two gripes with this decision:
  1. While struggling, Gary Sanchez is way more likely to get a big hit than Mike Ford. We know Sanchez is a home run hitter and that is what we needed in that situation.
  2. Why Mike Ford? If you are going to pinch hit someone pinch hit Clint Frazier. We know he is a good hitter. Mike Ford made no sense to me.

While there were several more questionable decisions, those are the two I wanted to cover; they both made no sense to me and are more proof why Boone has to go.

There were a lot of things that went wrong with this Yankee team. From injuries to inconsistency to mismanagement this team did not live up to standards. However, this doesn’t mean that this Yankee team as a whole is a lost cause.  They have the talent and if they re-sign and sign key players in the offseason I think they definitely have a shot at the 2021 World Series to keep their Chase for 28 hopes alive.